PGE

WHAT DOES MINFOCUS EXPLORE FOR AND WHY?

Metals with superior price performance, limited supply, supply largely derived from developing world countries, superior future demand growth and environmentally superior qualities. Meeting all these criteria are the platinum group metals plus gold, copper and nickel.

 

The platinum group metals (“PGE”) are six very heavy metals all of which are rare in the earth’s crust but are vitally important in environmental lifestyle enhancement.  Platinum and palladium are critical components of vehicles emission control systems as well as catalytic conversion of materials into cleaner products. Mining of the PGE metals is  dominated by Russia and South Africa, both of which countries have a history of erratic politics, infrastructure inefficiencies and failure to meet expansion plans.

World Platinum Production in Kilograms (Source: USGS Mineral Resources Program)

 

World Palladium Production in Kilograms (Source: USGS Mineral Resources Program)

Platinum and palladium have a permanency and decorative appearance which has made them popular as partners with gold as measures of absolute wealth and investment. Palladium finds extensive use in dentistry and the two metals absolutely control the catalytic clean up and conversion field.

(Source: Johnson Matthey 2011)

 

 

(Source: Johnson Matthey 2011)

PGE metals almost always occur in deposits of copper and nickel, as by-products and are produced as a part of the final refining process of the copper. The greater quantities of copper and nickel in such deposits make it easier to explore for them than the PGE directly. Prior to 1980 the demand for emissions control material did not exist and the value of PGE as by-products in copper – nickel deposits was insignificant and many explorers and miners did not bother to analyse for their existence. Deposits of copper and nickel discovered prior to 1980 and not economic at that time may well have greatly improved economics now if PGE content provides a plus.

 

Gold occurs with PGE in copper – nickel deposits and adds substantially to the value of the deposits. World gold production has been in decline for several years now and gold miners have failed to keep up output based on discoveries of pure gold deposits.

 

World investment demand continues to grow for gold, platinum and palladium and as a result the price dip of each of these metals during the 2008 economic decline was short and rebounded rapidly. With no substitutes available for any of these precious metals their continued long term superior price appreciation is assured.

(Source: Johnson Matthey 2011)

 

 

(Source: Johnson Matthey 2011)